I just finished watching one of my favorite shows on the Travel channel: "Bazaar Foods With Andrew Zimmern". Tonight's episode was my all time favorite. Andrew visited different Appalachian towns and partook of traditional mountain, natural, and even authentic Cherokee foods. I was born in a small, southern West Virginia town and lived in the mountain community the first two years of my life. I've been a "city girl" ever since, only visiting my birth place and relatives during summer or holiday vacations. Each and every time I go to the mountains, my soul is stirred and I feel as though I'm under some type of enchantment. There is something that speaks to me from the sound of the babbling creeks or the crickets at night. The cool night air is so refreshing. It's quite a treat to be able to sleep with my bedroom window OPENED!!! I'm proud to have my roots in such an enchanted place!
Andrew's first stop for tonight's show was in Helvetia, W.V., a small Swiss village I had never heard of. I was aware that many Germans had settled in the mountains of W.V. My paternal grandfather was of German descent. My maiden name was Riffe. I've often commented that some of the architecture and music in the area where my relatives live in southern W.V. remind me of Swiss or Scottish/Irish origins.
Andrew also visited a family of The Cherokee Nation which was right up my alley. My dad's great grandma was full Cherokee. I got chills during the show tonight when I heard the grandma of the clan ask God's blessing on the food in her native Cherokee tongue! The cooking for the family get together was cooked in a most authentic way. Johnny Sue, the hostess, has a modern kitchen but continues to use recipes and methods of days gone by. Bear meat, venison, and fish caught near the home were on the menu.
I know my sister will find these links enjoyable.
Wikipedia Helvetia, WestVirginia